•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Archives are a frequently untapped resource for novelists. Accounts of daily life, the lives of individuals, details of specific eras, and other minutiae found in the documents and memorabilia housed in archives can be used to fill out the essential scenes and events of the stories. Such facts and personal details help fiction writers make their stories real to readers and keep misconceptions and factual errors out. This study looks at the limited literature on the subject of authors in archives and presents examples of the types of information housed in particular archives to illustrate the kinds of details that could be useful in writing fiction. This study also demonstrates to archivists ways in which they can help authors to become aware of the value of archives in their research and to help them find the documents that would be most useful, based in part on this author’s experience as a novelist, a member of several writers’ groups, and panelist at numerous genre conventions attended by writers, editors, publishers, agents, and fans.

Author Biography

Cary G. Osborne graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Library & Information Studies with an MLIS. She now serves as the Political Papers Archivist at New Mexico State University. She also writes fiction, having had several novels and short stories published.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.